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XTRA Throwback Thursday: Israeli Glory

Welcome to a brand new feature here at ESCXTRA.com! Throwback Thursday has been a thing for quite a few years now, so why not join in? For every week, we’ll find a new theme and a new song to throw you back to… One of us will put the song in the spotlight, with others sharing their opinions on it as well. This week: Israeli Glory.

This week’s theme: Israeli Glory

During the final of Eurovision 2017, IBA announced its withdrawal from the contest after 44 years. A new broadcaster has been founded and has applied to join EBU. Time for us to take a look in the glorious history of Israel’s Eurovision adventure: Israeli Glory! Sophie will take you through her pick…

HOVI STAR – MADE OF STARS

Over the last four and a half decades, Israel has done a whole lot of memorable contributions to the Eurovision world, not to mention their three victories and various top 10 rankings. They also play an important role when it comes to cultural diversity. Not only are they one of the few participants who stuck with their native language for more than 40 years, but we were also given extraordinary performances including infectuous dance moves, a transsexual singer, and winged shoes of gold among others. Still, after all those years, it was only last year that they really took me by storm personally. That’s why for the first edition of our Throwback Thursday series, I’m actually not gonna throw you back all that far – we are only going back to Stockholm in 2016.

The first few notes of Made of Stars give me goosebumps each and every time that I listen to the song. The live performance and the staging were just plain brilliant –  you could see and feel how dear and important the song and whole experience were to Hovi. Personally, I connect the song with a special Eurovision memory: I was watching the second semi-final 2016 at a bar in Stockholm where we met two lovely Americans waving the Israeli flag with all their hearts. There were tears shed at the end of Hovi’s performance and later at the announcement of the finalists, the tension at our table was almost unbearable. When Israel was finally announced to go to the final everybody just hugged and started to cry again. I think this was one of my most emotional Eurovision memories ever, which made Made of Stars an even more special song to me.

What the others had to say…

Luke:

It’s ok…that’s about it, really, it’s so generic and average. It was a massive improvement over the studio version, but still just dull. Made of Stars is trying to be a super powerful ballad and it’s just completely missing the mark, partially due to the nonsensical lyrics. It’s more “Made of Boring Barren Asteroids” than “Made of Stars”. The moment of Israeli Glory for me is Imri by absolute miles. His song is catchy and was miles above anything else in 2017. Plus, just look at him. Yum.

Nick:

Awh, this is a cute effort from Israel. Those who know me, know I don’t get along with many Israeli entries, but this one was quite touching. This is how you revamp. If Israel keep delivering this, then I’d be happy to see them continue participating. That said, is this really my moment of Israeli Glory? Nah, for that we’d have to go back to 1988, for Yardena Arazi’s Ben Adam.

Wivian:

To me, Made of Stars is just another “Eurovision ballad by numbers”, and they very rarely do anything for me. Hovi is a good singer, and I don’t doubt for a second that his performance came straight from his heart. It just didn’t reach mine. Unfortunately, this song ticks all the wrong boxes for me. My moment of Israeli Glory came in Baku, the first time I saw Izabo perform Time at rehearsals. They totally blew me away with their fun and charming performance, great talent and enthusiasm. I will *never* understand how that little gem of a song didn’t qualify for the final.

Next week

On 10th June, Portugal will be celebrating their national day: Dia de Portugal. Time for us to honour Portugal!

But for now, let’s remember Israel’s ‘Made of Stars’. What is your favourite Israeli entry? Let us know below!

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